All national papers highlighted a GOJ announcement yesterday that some 51% of Japanese are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, seven months after the hastily-arranged vaccination program for healthcare workers began in February. Almost nine out of ten people aged 65 or older have received two doses. On the other hand, the corresponding figure for younger people was about only 30%. About 63% of people have received at least one dose of the Moderna, Pfizer, or AstraZeneca vaccine. The GOJ is reportedly hoping to complete the vaccination of all those who wish to be vaccinated by November at the latest.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato praised the “speedy” vaccination program, thanking local government officials and healthcare workers for their strenuous efforts to combat the virus. The GOJ is aiming to relax various COVID-related regulations on individuals and businesses beginning in November. However, Asahi highlighted a growing consensus among the nation’s leading epidemiologists and virologists that achieving herd immunity through vaccination may be difficult due in part to the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.